Bengals Draft Recap

Bengals Draft Recap

Tyler Vaysman
3 years ago
3 min read

Selecting in the top-five once again, the Bengals had a chance to select a premier player while also adding much-needed depth over the course of the draft. By the end of Saturday, Cincinnati was armed with 10 new rookies to get fans excited about the future in the Queen City.

Here is a look at the Bengals draft results on each day.

Day 1

Sewell or Chase, Chase or Sewell. That was the question that lingered for the Bengals going into the draft with the fifth overall pick. Ultimately, they went with LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase over the Oregon tackle.

While most teams may worry about the chemistry between a rookie wide receiver and a quarterback, the Bengals won’t have that problem with Chase. With Joe Burrow as his QB, the wideout led all the Power Five schools in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2019. He is an absolute playmaker and has a chance to be the team’s number one receiver in Week 1.

However, draft experts are still unsure whether taking Chase over offensive line help was the right move. With Burrow facing enormous pressure last season and having his rookie year cut short due to injury, the Bengals are hoping their decision to give Burrow a weapon rather than protection is the right one.

Day 2

After passing on the offensive line in the first round, the Bengals made sure to target it in the second round. However, the selection of Clemson OT Jackson Carman was considered risky by some experts.

Originally holding onto pick 38, Cincy traded back to 46 and acquired two fourth round picks in the process. But in trading back, they saw three offensive tackles all go off the board, leaving them with Carman, a projected third round pick. Carman played left tackle at Clemson and expects to immediately compete for a starting guard spot, with a move to tackle possible down the road.

In the third round, the Bengals got a great value in Texas Edge Joseph Ossai. Coming off of a 5.5 sack season in 2020, Ossai is a pure pass-rusher who should be able to compete for significant reps as a rookie in Cincy’s new-look front seven.

Day 3

Thanks to the trade back for Carman, Cincinnati had three picks in the fourth round alone. With their own pick, they went with another edge rusher in Tulane’s Cameron Sample, then used New England’s picks to select LSU defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith. Sample is an intriguing prospect, while the run-stuffing Shelvin and quick-footed Smith will add depth along their respective lines.

Maybe the most controversial pick of Cincinnati’s draft class came in the fifth round, where with pick number 149 they took Florida kicker Evan McPherson. While using a fifth round pick on a kicker may be puzzling, McPherson will compete for the starting job with Austin Seibert, who went 6-for-9 on field goals in four games with the Bengals last year.

With their final three picks, the Bengals went back to o-line with Georgia center Trey Hill, took a running back in Michigan’s Chris Evans, and drafted one last edge rusher in Kansas State’s Wyatt Hubert. Hubert may be the one closest to meaningful playing time out of that group, depending on how many pass-rushers Cincy is using at any given moment.

Final Thoughts

Looking at this draft class, there are two clear areas of strength. The first is wide receiver, where Chase alone is dynamic enough to where he, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd give Burrow a trio of exceptional passing options. The second is an edge rusher, where Cincinnati invested three draft picks and signed Trey Hendrickson in free agency to revamp a unit that desperately needed it.

However, while the Bengals drafted three offensive linemen, only Carman will have any sort of impact this season. And even still, it’ll likely be for protecting the run and not necessarily protecting Burrow. It’s hard to say their biggest need, which was pass protection, was addressed in any real meaningful way after this draft.

Share article on: